Friday, June 06, 2014

FRIDAY AROUND-THE-HORN.

•  Matthew Continetti was for years a reliable defender of the great and powerful Bush. Then he realized that gravy train wouldn't run forever, and so devoted himself to defending even greater Americans such as Sarah Palin, and to other variants of rightwing aargh-blaargh. Lately he's switched his specialty to  long hit pieces on Obama. In the latest installment, Obama goes to Italy and has dinner with local luminaries at the ambassador's residence. Continetti wants us to know this is an outrage, so he tells us the residence has an art collection that "includes Roman sarcophagi and centuries-old imperial busts" -- whereas Bush's Ambassador to Italy lived in a youth hostel -- and Obama and his guests dined on "the finest foods and most delicate wines," whereas Bush ate hardtack and salt beef. "The dinner conversation, according to Politico’s Carrie Budoff Brown and Jennifer Epstein," Continetti went on, "touched on architecture, on art, on science, and on urban planning," whereas Bush... well, we hardly have to go on. The whole thing is full of easy layups like that, along with some more bizarre bits, like the backhanded slur on the Obamas' daughters ("'With his daughters around less,' Politico reports -- without saying exactly where Sasha and Malia, neither of whom is in college, have gone..."). Throughout you can almost see Continetti mincing around and flapping his hands; look at these foofy liberals with their wine and their architecture! But for me the key section is this:
I like to imagine the conversations at these parties...

God that Bibi is so unreasonable, who are your favorite authors, it’s time for a real conversation about race, is Homeland like real life, this is the sushi place to go to in Los Angeles, you are a real role model for young men not only in this country but all around the world...
And so on; eventually Continetti criticizes "the phoniness, the small talk, above all the endless putting on airs" of a conversation he just made up. It's like a transcript of teenage girls dishing on that stuck-up bitch in homeroom, but it's actually one of Conservatism's Great Minds writing what he probably thinks is social criticism, or at least a good way to pay the bills until he figures out who to suck up to next.

•  "This has to hurt: A plurality of respondents in a new Fox News poll 'believe the administration of former President George W. Bush was more competent [than] the Obama administration,' the Hill reports," says James Taranto. It would be more impressive if the sentence did not contain the words "Fox News poll," which people who can remember two years back know is a important qualifier. More interesting to me, though, is the brethren's weird relationship with Bush: Except for a brief outbreak of "Miss me yet?" signs, they've been acting like they don't know the guy for five years.  My first thought was that the recent wave of rightwing "reform" programs, which are suspiciously reminiscent of Bush's compassionate-conservative con, are part of the reason. But the Bergdahl bullshit figures too: As I pointed out earlier, these guys are feeling confident again that all they have to do is blow a bugle and America will again mistake them for Sgt. Rock -- just like back in Nineeleven days! They may bring the baseball and bullhorn back for 2016 -- in fact, if all goes well, they might even finally let W. attend their convention.

•  Speaking of Bergdahl, here's some ripe spew from Some Guy at RedState:
Other than the obscenity of a man who was introduced into politics by a brace of convicted domestic terrorists spouting words he seems to have learned while watching Blackhawk Down and rooting for the Mohamed Farrah Aidid clansmen --
You almost have to admire it -- it's like he managed to connect his bile duct to his fingers without  engaging his brain.
-- “we don’t leave anybody behind” — the statement isn’t even vaguely true.
In trading five senior Taliban field leaders for a US deserter, Barack Obama passed on an opportunity to retrieve four other Taliban captives, three of whom are American citizens... 
If Obama had really cared about “leave no one behind” he would have driven a harder bargain and brought three other Americans home with the feckless Bergdahl.
And that would have given us three more excuses to impeach him!

•  Sometime I wonder if Rod Dreher even knows what he's saying anymore. Andrew Sullivan got all huffy about that mass grave of infants recently discovered at a Catholic facility for unwed mothers, so Dreher, who was Catholic about eight religions back, raves about how important it is for his former Church to prosecute sexual sin. At one point:
Given that most religions and cultures have purity codes governing sexuality, it’s terribly unjust to single out Catholicism for special contempt. Why do purity codes exist? Leaving aside religious revelation, it doesn’t take a degree in cultural anthropology to understand why any society would have the need to regulate sexuality, for the survival of the group. In a resource-poor society, one without advanced medicine, strong rules governing sexual behavior may be harsh but necessary. Andrew has written at length, and with gratitude, about how he once thought he was given a death sentence with his HIV diagnosis, but medical advances have made it likely that he will live a normal life. If he did not live in a technologically advanced, wealthy society, and if he did not have health insurance that pays for his expensive treatment, the sexually transmitted disease he carries would likely have killed him by now. In the not too distant past, no small number of people died of sexually transmitted diseases, and a shocking number of women died in childbirth. Sex had real life-or-death consequences, and that’s before one gets to the issue of maintaining a livable social order.
Uh... whuh... so, sex is a sin because Sullivan has HIV which you get from sex and, though he's doing alright now, in another era and/or income bracket he would have died from it? Or maybe "Sullivan has HIV" is all he means. I don't know. Is this what they mean by speaking in tongues?

•  Finally, can you guys tell me which it is: Was Noah Rothman unaware that the interpretive dance at Normandy was France's doing, not Obama's, or was Rothman just hoping to lead his readers to believe otherwise?

307 comments:

  1. Jay B.10:05 AM

    He'd like to imagine the conversations at these parties, so he makes up his own stupid one, when, just earlier in the piece Politico, as he cites, "touched on architecture, on art, on science, and on urban planning".

    I'd ask what conservatives talk about at dinner parties, but I suppose it's just about how they shut liberals up at dinner parties and how Obama's a total fag for talking about architecture, art, science and urban planning.

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  2. edroso10:05 AM

    If ya want more you gotta CLAMOR for it.

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  3. Strawmen are the easiest effigies to burn, and Continetti struggles to get his lighter to work. Seriously, how bad do you have to be to screw up even basic propaganda?

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  4. Tinker to Evers to Continetti? No, that's a failed double play where Continetti let the throw from second bounce right off his forehead.

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  5. Dr. Hunky Jimpjorps10:20 AM

    (loud clanging of pots and pans)

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  6. John E Williams10:20 AM

    MORE, MASTER, MORE!

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  7. DocAmazing10:23 AM

    Roy, you tease. You give us the mention of the Obama Sisters, but don't stop to savor the paragraph it's embedded in--references to Al Sharpton, Obama's swarthy Svengali Valerie Jarrett and "her boyfriend Ahmad Rashad", watching Raisin in the Sun (starring Denzel Washington, no less!), with approving mentions in The Grio.

    Continetti spends a great deal of time pointing out that the President is a dusky Ethiop, but couches it in terms only a discriminating wingnut would appreciate. Continetti can actually bring his A-game moves, if only a paragraph at a time.

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  8. fraser10:26 AM

    And actually a conversation about Israel, TV and sushi doesn't really sound that horrible.
    Of course a key part of his argument is the assertion that nobody ever dares question Obama's views, which as Roy notes is based on the fantasy conversation Continetti heard in his head. Perhaps next column he'll fantasize about Obama meeting a conservative cabbie who tells him to lay off the bullshit.

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  9. DID SOMEBODY SAY HORN?

    http://www.crashonline.eu/wp-content/uploads/2014/06/horn.jpg

    ~

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  10. LittlePig10:33 AM

    Not a Chance.

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  11. Jay B.10:35 AM

    Oh, no. The subjects aren't at all stupid ones to talk about. But at the same time, on Continetti made up a stupid conversation about those subjects, against considerable odds.

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  12. LittlePig10:36 AM

    He probably thinks the voices in his head are other people. Seems like there is a name for that particular psychological condition...

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  13. glennisw10:36 AM

    I'd like to ask this comment to share a double chocolate eggcream with two straws with me.

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  14. LittlePig10:38 AM

    http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/c/c1/US_M18a1_claymore_mine.jpg

    CLAYMORE! CLAYMORE!

    oh, wait...

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  15. The whole thing reminds me of Obama's recent, uh, "gaffe" where he allowed himself to be photographed working out at the hotel gym. The Secret Service (gasp!) did not ask other patrons of the gym to leave or isolate Obama or tackle anyone who had the temerity to take a picture. I understand this was a five minute hysteria point on the right because what if a terrorist had attacked the president? While, had Obama's Secret Service closed the gym to the other patrons and had anyone been refused the right to take a picture we would never have heard the end of the horrors of the imperial presidency and how arrogant Obama is.

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  16. I for one cannot help thinking of Nietzsche. That is, I can help it, but I really don't want to.

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  17. I gotcher "Around the Horn" right here, Roy.

    http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-9Hkd9RkhtmM/U5HWDKjbtjI/AAAAAAAAOHA/s9hb467yvQg/s1600/Right_Turn_-_2014-06-06_10.53.35.png.jpg


    Jenghazi Rubin, Jumping the Sharknado


    P.S. No stealing that, it's my next blog post. (If I ever finish it.)
    ~

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  18. Lieberals, always looking for handouts!
    ~

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  19. I can actually see her going to Italy and then complaining that the food wasn't as good as Olive Garden. And the pizzas! Oh, my God!

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  20. If anybody looked up the movie version (I did) and felt it wasn't musically satisfying, they might like this better: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dn6zTMssmYs

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  21. zencomix11:10 AM

    Hey, this is midterm election season, and if you want my vote, I'll be needing that freebacon.

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  22. whetstone11:35 AM

    With his daughters around less,' Politico reports -- without saying exactly where Sasha and Malia, neither of whom is in college, have gone...

    His daughters are just shy of 16 and 13. They're probably doing shit, like sleepovers and camp and whatever it is that Kids These Days do which is probably not unlike what Kids Those Days did. The Obamas and their daughters, from my perspective as someone who was once 13, 16, and is now looking down the barrel of not doing anything for the next 12 years but trail my kid around, are probably down with this.

    I know we always ask "do they actually know any liberals," but sometimes I wonder if they know any real people, or even if they are real people, or just birthed from Cato test tubes.

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  23. whetstone11:37 AM

    Wait, when that says "40 minutes ago," was that 40 minutes ago today? Is she in reruns?

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  24. montag212:00 PM

    Dunno about Mooselini, but I could have had some fun with the physicists, the Fiat execs and the architects just by recounting some of the fun I had trying to fix Fiat 128s....

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  25. You scream, I scream, we all want eggcream.

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  26. My favorite part about it is that he's not only excoriating the president for doing imaginary things, but for doing things every normal human being does- talk about sports or the weather with people you've just met? What a freak!!!

    Also, insinuating that eating sushi is elitist? I know the guy pines for Reagan, but this isn't the 80s anymore.

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  27. mortimer200012:04 PM

    Why OR? In wingnuttia these girls can do it all!

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  28. I'm now picturing them smoking arugula blunts.

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  29. mortimer200012:06 PM

    Old gag: Fiat stands for Fix It Again, Tony. (I say this as a former SAAB owner: shitty automobile, always broken.)

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  30. montag212:09 PM

    Rubin's hitting the bottle pretty early in the day these days, methinks.

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  31. I like how he claims that the presidential motorcade must have snarled up rush hour traffic in Manhattan. He knows his audience would never pick up on this bit of BS.

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  32. Ellis_Weiner12:11 PM

    You can never go wrong picturing the right-wing pundits and propagandists as the high school Young Republicans, who lack the math and science skills of actual nerds but who experience the same levels of sexual terror, envy, and resentment. Continetti's idea of louche conversation among those he despises includes, "Have you been to Eric Ripert's newest restaurant?", which is just what a smarty-pants 11th grader would think "sophisticated."

    Do these guys ever write anything that isn't sniggering, juvenile, and in bad faith? Use the back of your computer monitor if necessary and cite references.

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  33. montag212:11 PM

    Cato test tubes are really retorts.

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  34. montag212:13 PM

    I'm pretty sure that would turn my complexion green.

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  35. Formerly_Nom_De_Plume12:14 PM

    "touched on architecture, on art, on science, and on urban planning," whereas Bush... well, we hardly have to go on.


    Well, there's a fair chance whatever it was would be said with a full mouth and would be followed by unwanted touching.

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  36. montag212:15 PM

    I'm pretty sure they revert to mean, nasty and deadly serious when talking of war, torture and/or eviscerating the poor.

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  37. Gus diZerega12:16 PM

    If they were still alive, which they aren't, the great minds of conservatism would no longer be welcome there. It's 'intellectual' elite consists of authoritarian nihilists and Christiban theocrats, and little more.

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  38. montag212:19 PM

    Of course, if it was the elder Bush, it would have been followed by throwing up on the guests nearest him.

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  39. YES! As noted by her many common taters (most of whom, like moi, are there to laugh and throw rotten tomatoes), she wrote the same thing last week.

    But not just three hours after, "Despite Obama, yada yada..."

    The juxtaposition strikes me as hilarious. She ought to be fired, along with Fred Hiatt and anyone else involved with the decision to give her a jerb in the first place.
    ~

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  40. StringOnAStick12:23 PM

    Here's how I learned about how cars work: I blew up a 124 Spyder (oil pump fell off), and my dad and I rebuilt it. My husband thinks mechanicking is a dark art, whereas I think I learned enough to understand how cars work, and how to not get BS'd by on-the-make auto mechanics; it gets them when a woman calls them on something egregious. However, evidence of my continued stupidity is supplied by the fact that I not only did I own that Spyder, I also took my turn with an 850, and a 128. I've since gone Japanese, and not looked back.

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  41. BigHank5312:24 PM

    I was walking down an alley once, and from thirty feet away I spotted a familiar intake manifold. It was a Triumph motor from an early Saab 99. Christ, those things haunt my nightmares.

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  42. StringOnAStick12:24 PM

    Hey, I liked my Saab 99. It was comfy and the front wheel drive was great back when that wasn't that common, but yes: always broken.

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  43. Cato geneticist to Cato board: we could pass these specimens off as real humans if you would just stop letting them write shit.

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  44. Continetti's going to have to turn in his paisan card if he actually thinks that a four hour dinner is unusual.

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  45. It's only a matter of time before Obama has conservatives coming out against dinner itself. They'll call dinner unAmerican, rush to delete past tweets praising dinner, and accuse dinner of colluding with the Taliban.

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  46. Paul Krugman has done some good econ writing, and there's that prize and all, but the best thing he ever did was describe the Republicans as the party of Beavis and Butthead.

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  47. Ellis_Weiner12:46 PM

    Man, is that true.

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  48. I remember the American car equivalent, from the 1980's or so: Found On the Road Dead.

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  49. mortimer200012:53 PM

    When it wasn't broken, my 900S was a peach. But it ate clutch cables for some reason, and I never knew where I'd be when the damn thing would snap. I popped one once right across the street from my usual mechanic. Every other time... well, let's just say it was inconvenient. Then there was the day when the car refused to go backwards. It would shift into reverse, just not actually go that direction. Goddamn socialists.

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  50. He's just angry Obama was eating the food when every redblooded American knows he should have been serving it!

    But I can't wait until Cincinnati explains why the disgusting smelly lower classes should never question their social betters and people who suggest we increase taxes on the rich should be shot.

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  51. Now, supper, that's a real 'Murrican meal!

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  52. Guy eats dog, they slam him, guy eats tournedos Rossini, they slam him. I'm beginning to suspect they'd slam him no matter what he did.

    And what's up with that Islamifascist drinking wine anyway? What kind of Muslim does he think he is?

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  53. I can't exactly savor a Word Salad with Whine Vinegar.

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  54. FMguru1:18 PM

    Fix Or Repair Daily

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  55. montag21:18 PM

    I know a guy who's very familiar with factory doings at Triumph, and his explanation for the problems with that was that every necessity spec'ed by engineering was turned down by the accountants--correct cylinder head alloy, no, too expensive. Water pump with the right displacement, no, too expensive. Radiator sized for proper cooling, no, too expensive. Low bidder on the block casting left molding sand, wire and mouse carcasses in the coolant passages. This was primarily true of the Stags, from which the Saab 99/TR7 engine was derived, so I assume the litany of cost-cutting applied to those engines as well. And, once engineering prevailed after the failures had punctured B-L's warranty reserves, the later engines were better, but the damage to their reputation had already been done.

    Not that American manufacturers were doing much better at the time--they were hemorrhaging money and ended up giving us those sterling examples of automotive design, the Chevette, the Pinto, the Dodge Aspen and the AMC Pacer.

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  56. BeatnikBob1:24 PM

    You read that crap so I would not have to. Kind of like D-Day, sort of. Thank you...I think.

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  57. FMguru1:24 PM

    90% of journalist's criticisms of political figures essentially boil down to "doesn't go out of their way to make my job as easy as possible".


    They then project their unhappiness with their jobs onto The American People. Bush gives us silly nicknames and shot the shit and asks us how we're doing becomes "Bush a great guy that Americans would love to have a beer with", Obama doesn't go out of his way to fluff the press becomes "Obama is cold, distant, aloof, and the American people are turning against him". Note that both are in direct opposition to what the polls were saying.

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  58. montag21:24 PM

    All that said, I still think the `69 124 Spyder coupe was one of the prettiest cars around of the time. Too bad I never got the chance to finish rebuilding the one I had.

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  59. montag21:27 PM

    Umm, more like multiple organ failure.

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  60. redoubtagain1:28 PM

    "These are the saddest of all possible words. . ."

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  61. redoubtagain1:30 PM

    I want to see the non-treyf sushi

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  62. montag21:33 PM

    No question that he wrote that bio himself (the tell, of course, is "precocious"), because no one else would.

    No wonder Bloody Bill invited him into the family.

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  63. JennOfArk1:33 PM

    To the Fiat exec: "Oh, I really like that song they play in the new Fiat commercials." To the physicist: "So are you a heart doctor or a kid's doctor or what?" To the architect: "You should see our house in Wasilla - I designed it myself!"

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  64. ahsan afsar1:33 PM

    World Most Popular and Top Amazing Speedy Cars

    TopAmazingCars.BlogSpot.Com

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  65. mgmonklewis1:34 PM

    Behold the confluence of Fiat and architecture! http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fiat_Tagliero_Building

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  66. mgmonklewis1:35 PM

    Drat, no picture. Try this: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fiat_Tagliero_Building#mediaviewer/File:Fiat_Tagliero_Building.jpg

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  67. montag21:35 PM

    "Right down to the styrofoam and pressboard gun turrets!"

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  68. marindenver1:37 PM

    He forgot to work in Benghazi. But that's about the only thing he left out. "Uppity" and "lazy" were stated, re-stated and then repeated a couple of times.

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  69. redoubtagain1:41 PM

    It would be better titled "Pharting it in."
    Fixed, as he clearly wants to be J"oh, no"nah when he grows up.

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  70. redoubtagain1:45 PM

    "touched on architecture, on art, on science, and on urban planning," whereas Bush... well, we hardly have to go on.

    Well, this is what people with intelligence do. Instead of trying to recreate the fifth century AD but with smokeless gunpowder.

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  71. montag21:57 PM

    That is pretty wild (especially that it's in Eritrea). But, there is a more notable confluence of architecture and Fiat. It was Pier Luigi Nervi that designed Fiat's Turin factory, and it was state of the art construction when it was new. Nervi was best-known for designing the domed Sport Palace for the 1960 Olympics in Rome and the Pirelli Tower in Milan, and as the inventor of the reinforced concrete boat.

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  72. mgmonklewis2:01 PM

    Yup, it's in Eritrea. Apparently Asmara has a wealth of Italian modernist architecture from its colonial period.
    http://www.amazon.com/Asmara-Africas-Secret-Modernist-City/dp/1858943825

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  73. And, of course, he married..well...up? sideways? through suck? http://www.nytimes.com/2012/02/19/fashion/weddings/anne-kristol-matthew-continetti-weddings.html?_r=0

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  74. Not deadly serious--like boys they kill, but wantonly.

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  75. M. Krebs2:11 PM

    I was once stupid enough to buy a used, mid-70s Volvo with the V-6 engine. First time I took it to a mechanic he said, in a NC Piedmont drawl: "That engine's the worse thing Volvo ever made." What a nightmare that car was.

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  76. I like your version better but speaking as the mother of similarly aged girls they are probably late at chorus, play rehearsal, dance class, math olympiad, fencing, and studying for exams or writing papers.

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  77. Yes, if the goal is shortest dinner party of all time Obama should have asked that it be held at a drive through. We could have saved money by having each guest roll up to the window and shout his own order into the mouth of the big clown burger and then pay for him/herself.

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  78. Thanks for posting that! Gorgeous building. So 1938 and yet so timeless.

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  79. John E Williams2:19 PM

    MORE HORN! Hmmm.... picking on Roy brings results... hmmm...

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  80. M. Krebs2:30 PM

    He's Bill Kristol's son-in-law? PERFECT.

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  81. Jay B.2:30 PM

    Go take a look at it.


    What did I ever do to you mort?

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  82. AlanInSF2:45 PM

    Wow, Dreher has twisted himself so far around that he's against child-bearing. That's the sign of genuine Theology!

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  83. Meanie-meanie, tickle a person2:49 PM

    I don't remember the books as well as this guy (might be time to read SK&A and Jitterbug Perfume again!) but I get the feeling he's taking Robbins a wee bit too seriously. Which may be the reason Robbins hates critics...

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  84. AlanInSF2:50 PM

    Stupid liberals, thinking "Western civilization" is more interesting than "brush clearing."

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  85. Dreher Translator sez: People shouldn't waste their time being angry about a hole full of dead babies when Andrew Sullivan is a live queermonaut.

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  86. 'The Roman busts are okay but this place could really use some more moose heads up on the wall.'

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  87. Meanie-meanie, tickle a person2:59 PM

    Man, is this guy pissed off at anyone he perceives as smarter and/or more socially ept than him, or what? Lookit all them ejikated, kultured, conversationalizin' LIBERASL! Hatehatehate! AAAaaaaarrgh! Arguably the most articulate inarticulate scream of rage I've ever seen. A genuine cri de derp.
    Now, if he'd just end with "I'm meeeeeeltinnnnnng...", and not be making it up...

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  88. How does this even make sense?

    Why do purity codes exist? Leaving aside religious revelation, it doesn’t take a degree in cultural anthropology to understand why any society would have the need to regulate sexuality, for the survival of the group. In a resource-poor society, one without advanced medicine, strong rules governing sexual behavior may be harsh but necessary.



    Even if true was it true of Ireland in the 1920-s to 1960's? And if Ireland was so "resource poor" why didn't they welcome the advent of the pill and abortion in order to bring their numbers into accordance with their resources? There's more than one way to skin the cat here--you could have fewer unwanted babies or you could have more murdered children and tortured and enslaved adult women.


    Also, it should go without saying but most of our purity/pollution rules governing sex don't have anything to do with society being "resource poor" but rather have to do with controlling an important form of labor (children, wives, younger men) and makng sure that property goes only to important or legitimate heirs while bastard children and their mothers get used simply for labor. When individual families (not societies) are resource poor they practice abstinence, use contraception, delay marriage, and expose, sell, or give away unwanted infants.

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  89. Of course the grotesque thing is that none of this can be true. Kristol (his father in law) may be a moron and a blood stained wretch but he has never pretended to be a man of the people. A dinner spent eating Italian food, drinking wine, and discussing architecture, the latest restaurants, philosophy or anything else really isn't foreign to the Himmelfarb/Kristol clan and Continetti is just doing this shtick for the rubes.

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  90. Aren't there a number of tribal societies with much less restrictive sexual mores than medically advanced European society?

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  91. Jay B.3:17 PM

    You forgot: With Lisa Dunham.

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  92. montag23:21 PM

    There was absolutely no good reason for Volvo to use wet-sleeve liners on that block. None. Nada.

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  93. Meanie-meanie, tickle a person3:23 PM

    Why, everything...

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  94. DocAmazing3:26 PM

    I don't know why, but I find "queermonaut" uproariously funny. Makes me think of Yuri Gagarin redecorating the cockpit of his Soyuz capsule.

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  95. Meanie-meanie, tickle a person3:26 PM

    And you'd think it'd be a snap, with his own hair already on fire...

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  96. Tons, always have been. Rod's assumption that every society tries to limit female sexuality is absurd. Not every culture thinks that sex is sinful, not every culture thinks that the right way to limit reproduction is by terrorizing pregnant women and torturing their children to death. The Irish Catholic example is right out of the bounds of normal.

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  97. Aside from Shakezula's excellent point the Dreher bot actually descended into authentic frontier gibberish by the end of that quoted passage.

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  98. Meanie-meanie, tickle a person3:32 PM

    Around the horn bend, indeed...

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  99. Meanie-meanie, tickle a person3:34 PM

    I had a '66 Fix Or Repair Daily van. With the clutch rod held on by a pair of ViceGrips...

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  100. montag23:37 PM

    After all, those conversations emanate from his imagination.

    I'm pretty sure Oscar Wilde had an aphorism that covers that tendency.

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  101. JennOfArk3:47 PM

    Pretty much EVERY American car from the mid-70's through the mid-to-late 80's was a pile of crap, so I don't get the Ford hate. My own personal experience, with a 98 Ford Mustang that I'm still driving 16-1/2 years later, is that whatever problems Ford had 30 years ago, they fixed. My car has over 227,000 miles on it now, and still has most of the original parts.

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  102. montag23:54 PM

    Oh, indeed. I don't think Robbins ever had pretensions to greatness--he was mostly having fun. I still think the simile in Still Life With Woodpecker of the old potentate's heart valve when he was agitated is one of the most descriptive and funniest things I've ever read: "The noise that his heart valve produced sounded like two mechanical mice making love in a spoon drawer."

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  103. I'd venture to say that, even in Catholic Ireland, this was not normal. If it were normal, there would not have been a coverup.

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  104. Meanie-meanie, tickle a person4:07 PM

    What other kind could he imagine? "Write what you know"...

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  105. montag24:08 PM

    Hmm, I imagine Bloody Bill sawing on interminably and relentlessly about what someone said to him in one green room or another, since his life seems to be composed of going on television and proving to the world that he's a dolt of the first order. I'm betting he's put more people to sleep than a 100-year-old anesthetist.

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  106. Meanie-meanie, tickle a person4:09 PM

    That's not column filler, that's pathology.


    Perzackly. Very intense, stream-of-unconscious stuff.

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  107. I don't think there was a coverup. I think people knew and didn't think anything of it.

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  108. I read Continetti's piece. Not only am I sure he's incapable of imagining a conversation with Obama, I'm not sure he understands what a conversation is. It must be terrible going through life when TV shows and politics and family are just shrieking abstract words coming at you in a disconnected torrent.

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  109. Derelict4:30 PM

    And the now-standard part about tying up traffic. We note that ONLY Democratic presidents produce traffic jams and disruptions. No Republican president ever visited New York, LA, or any other major city in America. (I guess that's what makes Republicans such great Americans--they've never seen most of it, and what they have seen makes Bugtussle, AL look like Gotham.)

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  110. Derelict4:31 PM

    Soy-vais!

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  111. Derelict4:35 PM

    Ferrari Daytona is all I'm gonna say.

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  112. surreal_american4:39 PM

    "You almost have to admire it -- it's like he managed to connect his bile duct to his fingers without engaging his brain"
    Didn't Mark Levin accomplish that some years ago?

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  113. Dr. Hunky Jimpjorps4:41 PM

    Sex had real life-or-death consequences, and that’s before one gets to the issue of maintaining a livable social order.


    And I guess one of those consequences is being an indentured servant for a bunch of nuns who have about a fifty-fifty chance of letting your baby die, which seems perfectly healthy and reasonable to me

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  114. Derelict4:41 PM

    Re: The Chevette

    In 1982, the WSJ ran an article about how the Chevette turned out to be such a dud despite being roomy in side, having decent pickup, good gas mileage, and so on. The money quotes came from two dealers, with the first dealer recounting how he'd gotten some brand new, and they eventually worked their way to the back of the dealer lot while newer cars came in. He "discovered" them two years later after that winter's snow melted.

    But the best quote came from the other dealer. Asked why he thought the Chevette didn't sell, he replied "There's something vaguely disconcerting about a car that rusts in the showroom."

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  115. DN Nation4:43 PM

    Seriously, what is this dweebus even insinuating? That they're street-walking?

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  116. Derelict4:43 PM

    "And everything's so old here. Dontcha have anything new?"

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  117. mortimer20004:45 PM

    Come on, you want to read the whole thing, you know you do. It's so deliciously looney and over the top, just the sort of thing that alicurati appreciate... Just click right here... Don't worrry...It's Washington Monthly, so you won't even have to give Michael Goldfarb a page view... Go ahead... just one little clicky... that's it...

    MWAHAHAHAHAHAHAH!

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  118. Derelict4:49 PM

    "Boys throws stones at frogs in sport; the frogs, of course, die in earnest."

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  119. Derelict4:52 PM

    Well, they did have to give him a private office because the voices in his head became so loud they were disturbing his co-workers.

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  120. Derelict4:54 PM

    Goddamnit! Americans don't eat meals--they eat vittles! (And if Republicans have their way, all future retirees will feel lucky to have a pouch of Tender Vittles to split with their spouse.)

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  121. Derelict4:58 PM

    Somehow, I don't think they serve pie at their family dinners.

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  122. Derelict4:59 PM

    Not since Bush tried to put the moves on her.

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  123. montag25:01 PM

    I worked for a dealership in Florida around that time, and the wacko owner was making deals for huge lots of Chevettes that he bought from Alamo Rental Car in Texas. He was buying them for a set price per lot (often 150-200 cars at a crack) in 1983, shoved them off the trailer and right out onto the used car lot at $3995 each, regardless of equipment or condition. They were all 12-15 months old. Now, I realize rental cars get beat up more than a new private-owner car, but... they came back in droves. Engines exploding. Crankshaft pulley nuts shearing off. Transmissions gone belly up. AC compressors frozen. You name it, it broke. And, to make it worse, he was trying to get the shop to fix them, if not for free, then mighty close to it.


    I saw just enough of them that I was convinced they were an utter piece of shit. Every Monday morning that there were a bunch of auto carriers in the yard, full of Shitvettes, as the transmission guy called them (who had quit the Chevy dealership because they made him work on them), there was a near-mutiny in the shop. The only reason anyone wanted to get near one was to see if it was the first to have broken something new.


    Not exactly a testament to American automotive excellence.

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  124. Derelict5:09 PM

    Ah! Good times! I bought a new '78 Dodge Omni that had the transmission crap out before I drove it off the dealer's lot. Didn't even make the driveway!

    To paraphrase the old Quasar ad: The quality is gone before the name goes on.

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  125. Halloween_Jack5:09 PM

    fencing


    Now I'm imagining them as the Stark girls: one is learning to play the game, the other how to waste a dude if she has to.

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  126. Halloween_Jack5:11 PM

    So, basically we're in rerun season, and getting a repeat of that old wingnut classic: Black Man Takes Vacation, Nation Outraged.

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  127. KatWillow5:13 PM

    Dreher: Old Time religions stoned women to death to save them from getting STDs! And to save them from dying in childbirth!

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  128. montag25:16 PM

    And, to boot, they didn't know how good they had it.

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  129. FlipYrWhig5:18 PM

    Mise en plotz.

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  130. FlipYrWhig5:22 PM

    This is also how real estate agents use the phrase "the buyer." "Oh, laminate counters? I The American People The buyers won't like that."

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  131. montag25:25 PM

    All this reminds me of:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Rdqh0GsXMII

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  132. FlipYrWhig5:30 PM

    Stately Kristol-Himmelfarb Manor, at whose dinner parties only red-blooded all-American conversations happen.

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  133. Meanie-meanie, tickle a person5:39 PM

    Better--for this crowd, anyway--to leave it right there, with the briefest mention, and let his readers supply the speculation, which would include all of the above, and much, much more. This way, Continetti's hands are clean in the speculating-about-young-girls area.

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  134. Meanie-meanie, tickle a person5:41 PM

    A sort of cultural autism?

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  135. Derelict5:43 PM

    Maybe not Wilde, but I think Foghorn Leghorn might have something appropriate to say . . .

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  136. Meanie-meanie, tickle a person5:47 PM

    Talking baseball and pussy* over burnt cheeseburgers and Bud. They won't even allow Miller Highlife. Too snooty by half...


    *If W and Poppy were guests. Otherwise it would devolve to how many ways can you say "fuckin' Liberals!". Odd to think of Junior having the ability to raise the level of any discourse. I may have to rethink this one...

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  137. Derelict5:50 PM

    May I suggest that you simply imagine what the conversation would be . . .

    . . . And then write it up and sell it to NRO. It works for Continetti.

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  138. Meanie-meanie, tickle a person5:54 PM

    Like thusly?

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  139. montag25:56 PM

    I was particularly thinking of: "The public have an insatiable curiosity to know everything, except what is worth knowing."

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  140. Meanie-meanie, tickle a person5:56 PM

    A Closmonaut? I mean, he could hardly be out, in that day and age. And country.

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  141. sharculese6:04 PM

    The other day I was talking to a woman who had been living in NYC for about a year. She complained a little about Obama's visit to town for A Raisin the Sun (this was in DC, so the topic of Presidential motorcades wasn't completely out of nowhere) and my first thought was "what, you want to go back to when the President was an illiterate dry drunk? Are you sure about that?"

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  142. Meanie-meanie, tickle a person6:04 PM

    He pulled the resource-poor society out of his ass to try and legitimize the illegitimate. Though I may have that backwards...

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  143. sharculese6:04 PM

    I totally missed that one and now I'm even more mystified how wingnuts don't get exhausted from the constant invention of new and even pettier outrages.

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  144. Meanie-meanie, tickle a person6:06 PM

    Must be a Kenyan Muslo-Marxist thing.

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  145. RogerAiles6:06 PM

    SomeDick at Red State: “we don’t leave anybody behind” — the statement isn’t even vaguely true.


    Obama didn't do what he didn't say he was going to! Impeach!

    Yesterday, some yutz on FOX News sneered that Obama didn't really mean "No man left behind" because he hasn't traded for the Marine who got arrested a couple of months ago for bringing weapons into Mexico.

    Who do we trade for him, Alfredo Aceves and a DH to be named later?

    Here's Faux's latest on the Marine:

    http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2014/06/06/lawmakers-renew-drive-to-free-marine-held-in-mexico-on-heels-bergdahl-deal/

    "The VFW urges you to show the same sense of urgency toward Tahmooressi as you did to secure the release of Bergdahl," [some VFWer] wrote.

    So the VFW wants the Pres to leave the matter for President Clinton? Got it!

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  146. sharculese6:08 PM

    My first thought, too. Apparently we've reached the point where imaginary dinner parties you would dominate isn't creepy enough, so we need imaginary dinner parties you weren't invited to.

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  147. Derelict6:09 PM

    I think Bush was holding out for the Sondhiem version of My Pet Goat.

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  148. Meanie-meanie, tickle a person6:10 PM

    Limbaugh does the Bile-duct-to-mouth version every day.

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  149. M. Krebs6:16 PM

    Econoline!

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  150. Worse, its a rerun of "bare feet on the white house coffee table" known as "Black Man Has Dinner With Friends, Nation Disgusted."

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  151. Well, if ever anyone would know the writing on the wall, it'd be you.

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  152. mortimer20006:26 PM

    Stately Kristol-Himmelfarb Manor, at whose dinner parties only red-blooded all-American conversations happen.

    Yes, with Himmelfarb, Kristol, and an Abrams or two discussing the good old days when stigmatizing poverty humanized the poor and made them better, more virtuous people. Then they all spit out clouds of good ol' Domaine Leroy Echezeaux Grand Cru in uproarious laughter.

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  153. I remembered that line as being more iambic pentametry.

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  154. Just to be completist. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JoHW-Tk-d-k

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  155. sharculese6:36 PM

    If Rod Dreher had been there there when Jesus said "let ye who is without sin cast the first stone" he would have politely cleared his throat to suggest that if you take a more nuanced socio-historic perspective, stoning might serve a valuable function within the community but with great sorrow he accepted that all that stone-casting just wasn't something today's kids were hip to.

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  156. surreal_american6:48 PM

    Oh that's right. Levin perfected the spleen-to-mouth method of commentary.

    ReplyDelete
  157. Got any of them Thomas Kincaid paintings?

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  158. sharculese7:02 PM

    Why shouldn't a D-Day memorial include interpretive dance? There's equal room to celebrate both those who sacrificed in wartime and to celebrate that we survived. War is not supposed to be an awesome thing.

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  159. If I were being generous. But I think Continetti's just an ass.

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  160. sharculese7:11 PM

    wait, wait, wait, wait, wait


    So, Obama brings guns into Mexico, where brings equals fails to stop a program he doesn't appear to have known about and that was started by the anonymous President-less eight years preceding him - high treason


    Some random as dude who happens to be a Marine drives a bunch of guns into Mexico on what sounds like a fairly implausible accident - Oorah?


    I- Nah, I really can't even feign shock anymore.

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  161. Il Pittore dela Luce as the Italians know him.

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  162. Cracked retorts.

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  163. he would have shut the entire conversation down with one brilliant, blistering retort.


    Hey, I could actually believe that ... as long as "blistering retort" is a euphemism.

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  164. Bloix7:46 PM

    They talk about shooting animals, houses on private islands, and difficulties with servants.

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  165. smut clyde7:54 PM

    "Like private parts, they play with us for their sport."

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  166. glennisw8:00 PM

    Did he write that himself?

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  167. glennisw8:01 PM

    We should have seen this coming back in 2008 when they slammed him for pronouncing Pakistan correctly.

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  168. smut clyde8:02 PM

    The key there is Dreher's idea that "it doesn’t take a degree in cultural anthropology" -- IOW he know sufficiently little about cultural anthropology to think that he knows more than the cultural anthropologists. So he has some reductive Marvin-Harris-style pop-anthro idea that every quirky part of a cultural belief system can be rationalised as having survival value for the culture.


    I am not a cultural anthropologist (published in Am. Anthro., but that was a book review)

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  169. whetstone9:04 PM

    They must have pleasant Thanksgiving dinners:

    His mother is a reading specialist for Fairfax County Public Schools in
    Fairfax, Va. His father is a contract specialist at the General Services
    Administration in Washington.


    "And Bill, what are you up to these days? Ah, trying to drown government in a bathtub, that's nice."

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  170. Now I'm picturing a man being stalked by a motor and it is pretty damn funny. At least to me.

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  171. smut clyde9:18 PM

    before one gets to the issue of maintaining a livable social order

    For some reason, whenever a society's constraints and loss of liberty are hand-waved away as being an individual sacrifice in the cause of the wider good, they always fall on the women.

    You'd think that if Irish-Catholic sexual mores and religious honour-killings were a matter of cultural survival, then the guys involved in the premarital pregnancy might incur some social opprobrium as well.

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  172. JennOfArk9:24 PM

    I'm pretty sure he must have. He's suggesting that he was reading Slate, Atlantic and Sully online while in his teens. But he would have been 12 in '93, and if I'm not mistaken, none of that was online until the late 90's at the earliest, right?

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  173. Once again the basic economics of all this reminds us that capitalism doesn't work unless its bolstered by slave labor somewhere along the line. The real goal was getting a chance to enslave a significant number of the female population so they could do laundry for the middle and upper classes without receiving any income.

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  174. Cato test tubes are really catheters.

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  175. Back in the day, I owned a '75 Audi 100LS--the cherriest car I had ever seen. Long story short: There's a mechanic in Biloxi who ate steak every night for the two years I owned that car. I found out later the 100LS was "the car that nearly bankrupted Audi." (Fuckin' thing nearly bankrupted me, that's for sure.) The only good things I can remember about that car were the beautiful paint, the built-in 8-track and the new tires that I put on it when I finally traded it in for a Toyota.

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  176. I would ask, "How does a fcking oil pump fall off>/em>," but I won't. I'm no mechanic, but I've busted quite a few knuckles on quite a few cars and so . . . well, I just won't ask.

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  177. Meanie-meanie, tickle a person11:13 PM

    Oh, snap...

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  178. As private parts to the gods are wee.

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  179. "Euphemism for what?" he asked with a smile.

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  180. I'd like to treat this comment to a can of Fancy Feast.

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  181. ". . . the frogs, of course, in earnest die."

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  182. In perfect fucking French, no less!

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  183. Meanie-meanie, tickle a person11:22 PM

    Arugula being basically "greens", I can just about guarantee you some farmer somewhere has tried it. "Wildwood weed" was probably discovered by trial and error...

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  184. Meanie-meanie, tickle a person11:25 PM

    Actually, he'd better move quickly, before it falls down...

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  185. Meanie-meanie, tickle a person11:27 PM

    I had a Shitsibumi pickup like that. Second time it snapped, I bought two...

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  186. Jon Hendry11:28 PM

    Bush was all excited about that "puppet show" on Broadway, but someone explained that he probably wouldn't like it.

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  187. Jon Hendry11:31 PM

    When the voice started he decided his AR was in fact an intelligent +5 AR of slaying, and it was talking to him.

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  188. With Rod you always have to remember that he sees things through an OCD-ADHD-bipolar-anxiety disorder lens. He admits to hypersexual behavior and sex obsession as a college student and for a while thereafter. The shame and embarrassment of which put him on to Puritanism. Well, for other people anyway.


    He's pretty much the reason I've concluded that the real difference between liberalism and conservatism is, and arises from, how they define insanity. More exactly: conservatism has no coherent definition of it.

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  189. Jon Hendry11:35 PM

    I'd totally try to convince the Fiat execs to give me a free Alfa Romeo 4C.

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  190. Jon Hendry11:42 PM

    Or this: Fiat's factory with a racetrack on the roof.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lingotto#mediaviewer/File:Fiat_Lingotto_Rooftop_Racetrack_1.jpg

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  191. Meanie-meanie, tickle a person11:44 PM

    The Triumph bean-counters must have been in on the Mitsubishi 2.4L truck motor of the early '90s. "Disposable" would be too kind. So bad, in fact, that it may have ruined the truck market for Mitsibishi, and the last one was made in '96.

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  192. Jon Hendry11:45 PM

    To the physicist: "You know, I haven't been able to poop for days. Do you have anything that'd work?"

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  193. Jon Hendry11:48 PM

    And colostomy bags.

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